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Philippines – Coronavirus Disease Update

All ports

Entry restrictions
All passengers who meet the following criteria are not permitted to enter the Philippines:

  • Travelling from China (including Hong Kong and Macau)
  • Visited China (including Hong Kong and Macau) in the past 14 days

Entry restriction exemptions

  • Philippine citizens and their foreign spouse/children (including permanent residents, holders of a Recognition certificate and RA9225 Identification certificate) are permitted to enter but must undergo a 14-day home quarantine on arrival
  • Passengers travelling on a diplomatic passport may travel but will be subject to a 14-day quarantine on arrival
  • The Philippines is lifting its temporary travel ban on arriving foreign nationals with longer-term visas starting August 1. The entry of foreign visitors remains limited.
    • Only those who have existing or long-term visas at the time of entry are allowed. These are foreign citizens covered by Section 13 of Commonwealth Act 613, Republic Act 7919 and Executive Order 324.
    • These include permanent residents, the spouse or unmarried child younger than 21-years-old of a Philippine citizen, a child of alien parents born during a temporary visit abroad of a mother who has permanent residency, or a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has been naturalized in a foreign country.
    • New entrants will not be let in. No new visas will be issued.
    • They are subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at ports of entry. Returning OFWs and Filipinos will be given priority.
    • They should acquire a pre-booked quarantine facility and a COVID-19 testing provider.

Exit restrictions

  • Non-Philippine citizens may continue to travel from the Philippines as normal.
  • Under a temporary travel restriction, with some limited exemptions, Philippine citizens are not permitted to travel to or transit through Mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau.

Exit restriction exemptions

  • Filipinos leaving to study abroad are permitted to travel

Department of Transportation (DOTr) – released guidelines on arriving passengers in the Philippines. All passengers arriving the Philippines are required to undergo RT-PCR tests as well as quarantine procedures while waiting for the results.

Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) – released a Memorandum Circular No. 19-2020: Cruise and Passenger ships being used as a quarantine facility or allowed to berth for the disembarkation of Filipino crew shall be allowed, subject to compliance with PPA.

Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) – outlined the procedures on ship crew changes and on the repatriation of seafarers in foreign-registered or Philippine-registered vessels docked in international ports or seaports under the jurisdiction of the Philippines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crew Change Guidelines

Crew change for Filipino crew:

  • Sign on/off is allowed but need to undergo COVID-19 testing.
  • Filipino crew on signer – Crew required to take swab test within 48 hours before joining the vessel.
  • Embarkation of Filipino will NOT be allowed by Immigration if vessel next port of call are:
    • Hubei Province, China
    • South Korea (Daegu or Cheongdo)
    • Iran
    • Italy
  • Filipino crew off signer – disembarking crew must have confirmed booking of quarantine facility and clinic or hospital for RT-PCR test / swabbing. Crew will stay in quarantine while waiting for the result. If the result is negative, crew is allowed to go home. Normally this procedure is handled by local manning agent.

Crew change for International/Foreign crew:

  • Sign on – will need exemption to apply for 9c visa.
  • Sign off – is allowed. He must disembark 4 hours prior to departure of outbound flight. COVID-19 testing is not required.
  • Foreign crew on signer – Issuance/Processing of 9c visa from Bureau of Immigration still suspended, however we can apply exemption through Department of Foreign Affairs which is subject for approval. Once approved foreign on signer will be allowed to enter the country and board to vessel but need to comply the following health check procedure.
    1. To undergo RT-PCT test at accredited clinic/hospital upon arrival at the airport.
    2. Required to stay at accredited quarantine facility (hotel) while waiting for the negative test result.
    3. Process clearance from following government offices – Bureau of Immigration/Bureau of Quarantine/Philippine Coast Guard / Philippine Port Authorities.

NCR is still under GCQ while CEBU remains to be ECQ.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) – opened the first “green lane” for seafarers in Asia to allow the free movement of seafarers and personnel across borders. This is to ensure that seafarers are accorded speedy and safe travel, subject to health protocols mandated by the Philippine government, including safe and swift disembarkation and crew change during the COVID-19 pandemic. Foreign seafarer must secure a 9c visa and a medical certificate stating that he is negative of COVID-19 within the last 72 hours. Bureau of Immigration released a memorandum acknowledging that issuance of 9c or Seaman and Crew List Visas by Foreign Service Posts (FSPs) has resumed.

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal will move back to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) effective 0001H August 4 to August 18. This is still pending further details from the Philippine government.

Iloilo

Issued Executive Order No. 128-E imposing travel restrictions into Iloilo through the provincial borders with the provinces of Antique, Capiz and Negros Occidental.

Manila

The Bureau of Immigration will continue to implement international flight travel restrictions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) despite lifting of the modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and its being placed under general community quarantine (GCQ).

NAIA 3 will resume its international flight operations on July 8. Flights of All Nippon Airways, Air Asia Berhad, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines will arrive and depart from Terminal 3 starting July 8. Some foreign carriers operating in Manila will also service repatriation flights.

PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD: As part of the new system being implemented at the NAIA, ROFs who were swabbed at the airport shall receive e-mail certifications from the Philippine Red Cross (PRC). ROFs who have received e-mail certifications indicating that they are negative for COVID-19 may already leave their designated quarantine facilities, after verification from the PCG or OWWA personnel. The processing and printing of quarantine clearances at the PITX or NAIA is only applicable to those ROFs who were swabbed aboard cruise ships, in various quarantine hotels, or at the Palacio de Maynila Testing Center.